Electric car Think to be assembled in US in 2011: report

January 5, 2010
An electric car made by Norwegian compagny Think is pictured on the road in Oslo in 2008. Think, an electric car maker based in Norway, will assemble its vehicles in the United States next year and hopes to roll out more than 20,000 units a year, the Wall Street Journal said on Tuesday, quoting the group's chief executive.

Think, an electric car maker based in Norway, will assemble its vehicles in the United States next year and hopes to roll out more than 20,000 units a year, the Wall Street Journal said on Tuesday, quoting the group's chief executive.

"Nothing has been finalised yet but a decision is expected today," a Think spokesman, James Andrew, told AFP.

Think, which will receive local and state incentives, is expected to invest 43.5 million dollars (30.1 million euros) to modernise an assembly plant in Indiana, the Wall Street Journal said in an article to be published on Tuesday.

Several US states had been in competition for the investment.

The newspaper reported that the project was to be officially announced in Indiana on Tuesday.

The plant would have an assembly capacity of more than 20,000 cars a year, but production would be "in the low thousands" in 2011, chief executive Richard Canny said.

The Think City, a small plastic vehicle that seats two adults and two children, is expected to sell for around 30,000 dollars, after a tax rebate of some 7,500 dollars, the Wall Street Journal said.

After teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, Think was saved in August by a group of investors, including Ener1 of the US, the owner of Enerdel which supplies batteries for the Think cars.

Enerdel is the largest shareholder in the carmaker, holding 31 percent.

In northern Europe, production of Think cars was transferred last year from Oslo to a plant in the Finnish town of Uusikaupunki, where the Finnish group Valmet Automotive already assembles models for German sportscar maker Porsche.

The Think City has a maximum speed of 100 kilometres (68 miles) an hour and a range of 180 kilometres (110 miles).

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earls
Jan 05, 2010
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Mr_Frontier
not rated yet Jan 05, 2010
Even if you don't buy it, it increases competition, nothing bad about that.
Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Jan 05, 2010
Competition IS good. Sadly, this particular model will do nothing to better the market position of electric cars. A number of immediate limits jump out:
1. need a price tag of less than 20k in order to get ANY market penetration.
2. need quick-charge capability(say, 15 minutes or less) to make it practical for use other than strictly commuter, in which case public transit would still be cheaper/greener.
3. plastic ends up being less green, and less(as perceived) safe- which translates into fewer sales.
Anyone care to add to the list?
Newbeak
not rated yet Jan 05, 2010
Prices will be high at first until electrics become mainstream.
Cars like the upcoming Volt would offer the best of both worlds.No gas would be used on commutes of less than 40 miles,while extended range would be possible thanks to the onboard recharging engine.
I read somewhere that public transit is NOT necessarily greener,especially on certain routes at off peak hours.Buses have to be packed to maximize their green potential.
earls
Jan 05, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
robbor
Jan 05, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Royale
not rated yet Jan 06, 2010
These would be GREAT at 20k. But 38 (with a possible tax break later on)? Come on now. Sure some yuppies will buy it, but i'd really like to have it and i'll need the 20k pricing before i buy something that small! it would be great for my small commute. but not 38k great. oh well.. come on 1996 civic. keep running. just a few more years and we'll have more options. (hopefully).
Bob_Kob
not rated yet Jan 10, 2010
Who drives more than 50 miles in one trip? Besides the odd travelling to distant places, for day to day driving to work / shops a car like that would be perfect.
Mr_Frontier
not rated yet Jan 14, 2010
What if you're normal airport was 40 miles away? Not bad; cutting it close. You get a ticket, you need to eat somewhere, you need to go to the bathroom, and/or you gotta cash a check before your trip. You're possibly screwed and you miss your flight for recharge time. Never put your eggs in one basket.

When people have been operating vehicles that normally go 300+ miles per fill, there is going to be a lot of adaptation and backlash to anything but that number, especially without a way for a quick charge. Pure electric does not hold nearly enough value yet against chemical. I'll be patient though.

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